Nurse Maritza Perez gives a COVID-19 test in Anaheim, California, in July 9. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases exceeded 4 million on Thursday, Johns Hopkins data illustrates.

Why it matters: President Trump is pushing to reopen schools and return the U.S. economy to pre-pandemic normalcy. But infection numbers are rising and coronavirus hospitalizations have surged nationwide, adding to the pressure of a health care system that's been under immense strain for months. More than 143,000 Americans have died to date from COVID-19.

Go deeper: In photos: Life in the era of the coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.

How the coronavirus pandemic could end

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's still the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but history, biology and the knowledge gained from our first nine months with COVID-19 point to how the pandemic might end.

The big picture: Pandemics don't last forever. But when they end, it usually isn't because a virus disappears or is eliminated. Instead, they can settle into a population, becoming a constant background presence that occasionally flares up in local outbreaks.

Oct 22, 2020 - Health

FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment

A production line of Remdesivir. Photo: Fadel Dawood/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences on Thursday received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has shown modest results against treating COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the first and only fully FDA-approved drug in the U.S. for treating the coronavirus.

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